Your challenge: The world is about to get a whole lot more exciting for baby—and messier for you—when it’s time to introduce some solids to their daily meals. Until this point, the feeding thing was more or less straightforward. Now, where do you even start with expanding baby’s palate?
The solution: Remember, until the age of one “food is for fun.” With that in mind, hopefully you can take the pressure off yourself and enjoy the experience of introducing baby to some exciting new flavors and textures.
What the experts say: It’s tempting to rush into introducing solids, especially with the promise from some that it may help baby sleep better. The Centers for Disease Control, however, warns against offering baby food too early, saying this can deprive baby of the nutrients in breastmilk or formula. According to them, it’s best to wait until baby is 6 months old and able to sit.
Making your own food: It’s never been easier to make your own baby food, thanks to some high-tech steamers and blenders designed specifically for the task. Start with single ingredients, such as peas or carrots, before getting more creative with the flavor combinations. This also allows you to keep track of whether baby is having any adverse reactions to certain allergens.
Baby-led weaning: By 6 to 8 months, babies are generally ready for some more texture with their food—which makes baby-led weaning an appealing option. Soft foods, such as avocados, roasted sweet potatoes or bananas, make for good early foods for babies to eat on their own. Between 8 and 12 months, most babies are mastering the pincer grasp, which means they can pick up smaller food items between their thumb and forefinger.
Start family meals: It’s never too early to start family meals! Pull up baby’s seat at the table with a high-chair or convertible booster seat. Like the little observers they are, baby will probably enjoy studying how and what everyone else is eating—which is yet another reason to make sure you include some veggies in your own meal.
Pro tip: Most pediatricians sign off on introducing water to baby around 6 months, too. Start the healthy habit of offering a sippy cup along with their dinner. But be sure to ask your doctor what they recommend!
You’ve got this.
Motherly + Kids2 provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
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